Ben Noel, Executive Director
Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy
Ben Noel is the executive director of the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy — or FIEA — UCF’s nationally renowned graduate video-gaming program in downtown Orlando.
Noel came to FIEA from Electronic Arts (EA), where he was serving as vice president and studio chief operating officer of EA’s Orlando-based studio EA-Tiburon. Tiburon is home to more than 500 developers who produce some of the world’s most popular titles, including Madden NFL Football, NCAA Football, NFL Street and NASCAR racing.
Prior to Tiburon, he was vice president and studio manager for EA’s Austin, Texas, studio, Origin, which pioneered the massively multiplayer online business with the award-winning franchise, Ultima Online. Prior to the game industry, Ben was vice president and director of project management for ESCO Technologies in Austin, Texas, developing anechoic and shield facilities and equipment in the electromagnetic compatibility industry with customers such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Cisco, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Xerox and the U.S. government.
Noel is frequently sought by media to comment on the video gaming industry and Central Florida’s booming creative business. He has been quoted by many national and regional publications, including BusinessWeek, the St. Petersburg Times, Governing magazine and Lufthansa Magazine.
Noel earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his MBA from Rollins College.